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Comics for user research

Exploring Comics as a storytelling tool to present user research insights

Creativity in research

As a part of design process, I always end up creating large consolidated and synthesized journey maps.

As a part of improving the user experience of stakeholders who receive such user research insight artefacts and reports, I explore different ways this could be made bite- sized to be more impactful and tangible for them to take action.

User journey map along with a persona of a coordinator

So for a recent project when I created the persona and journey map above, I wanted to provide a bite- sized insight artefact that would help them better understand some painpoints that a large cross-section of our target users go through.

Comics for storytelling

I have hardly met anyone who dislikes comics.

They are fun to read, engaging one can breeze through them to grasp the essence of the story.

I decided to create a narrative of one of the most important pasts of the user journey here.

Comics look easy but when you start creating them they are many aspects to be considered- flow, story arc, consistency in visuals and so on. I worked on a few iterations where I played around with what I wanted to highlight in the story.

First iteration of the comic strip

The final iteration talked about the major painpoints but also visualized what some users expected out of the service and the systems provided by the organisation for these set of tasks.

 

Final comic strip shared with the stakeholders

Feedback and reflections

This was an experiment that I conducted to present user insights to an audience who has never seen a format like this for such a purpose. It was well received by the stakeholders but I couldnt create more as they require a substantial amount of time and as a user research team of one, some times I needed to priortize on deliverables.

I would definitely experiment more with this medium and recommend others to do the same. There are many places to get inspiration for working with comics for user research, but here some interesting resources to start :

  1.  Sharing UX research results with comics : https://uxplanet.org/sharing-ux-research-results-with-comics-f576e861923f
  2. https://www.makingcomics.com/
  3. If you want to dive much deeper, I recommend this book: https://www.bol.com/nl/f/making-comics/38731893/
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